The Election Commission will announce the poll dates for the upcoming General Elections on Sunday at 5 pm, it said. The dates will be announced at a press conference in Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. The General Elections will be held to choose 543 members of the Lower House of Parliament.

Election dates were announced for the previous Lok Sabha polls on March 4, 2014. The delay in announcement of dates this time had led to much speculation. Congress leader Ahmed Patel had claimed the Election Commission was waiting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to complete his travel schedule before the poll dates are announced.

Once the dates have been listed, the Model Code of Conduct immediately comes into place. The code is a series of regulations meant to provide a level playing field to all parties in an election, with particular fetters on the ruling party so that it does not use its commanding position unfairly.

The electronic voting machines and paper trail machines are required to be deployed in 10 lakh polling stations across 543 Lok Sabha constituencies, PTI reported.

What to expect

Elections could be spread across seven to eight phases this year, according to PTI.

The Election Commission could hold simultaneous Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim along with the Lok Sabha polls, PTI reported.

Meanwhile, in Jammu and Kashmir, all political parties have favoured simultaneous polls. The state has been under President’s rule, which is set to end in May.

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly’s six-year term was to end on March 16, 2021. However, the Assembly got dissolved after the ruling coalition between the Peoples Democratic Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party fell apart in June last year.

The tenure of the current Lok Sabha ends on June 3. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s five-year term expires on May 26.